Forty Years Ago Today I Entered The Hospital

While Dr. Laub and his team ran their clinic out of offices at Stanford and every one on the team was involved with the Stanford University Medical Center they did not perform surgery there.

Instead we were relegated to Harold D Chope Community Hospital in San Mateo.

It was as though they were ashamed of giving  us the operations we needed.

In the weeks just prior to my entering the hospital my mother had waged a last ditch campaign to get me to change my mind.  She pulled out every manipulative and emotionally blackmailing tool she could think of and dumped them on me.  Then she hit with the threat of disowning me completely.

She wanted me to try being a guy just one more time.

I told her that the alternative to my not getting my surgery wasn’t my being a guy, it was my being a queen.  That what I had done with the hormones and the consciousness changes made it impossible for me to ever be a guy.

Jerry was angry at the toxic bullshit my mother was dumping on me and I was really afraid to discuss how upset I was with Stanford because they might cancel my surgery. My sisters could be a bunch of judgmental bitches, something that hasn’t changed in forty years so talking to them about being afraid of the consequences of getting surgery wasn’t a good idea.

It was a Monday afternoon, the night before I had fasted.  I wouldn’t eat solid food for the next week or so.

Jerry had been really protective of me, seeing to it that we had a lot of weed, telling me everything was going to be alright.

We didn’t have a car and so I took the train to San Mateo and a cab to the hospital.

I had paid all the surgeons fees and the hospital deposits before hand so all that remained was for me to check in.

It wasn’t like we could share rooms even though we were spending nearly two weeks in the hospital and they were doing one or two surgeries a week.

Instead we were stuck down in a small ward of individual rooms located in the basement of the hospital.

No one ever told me it would be easy.

Some of the deserters I knew had a slogan they used in ‘Nam.  “Just suck it up. It don’t mean nothing…”

If being treated in a way that was shabby was the price I had to pay then I would just suck it up and get on with it.

Once I was in the hospital room I became the center of all sorts of activity. Last minute blood tests. Laxatives, enemas, pubic hair shaving, scrubbing with anti-bacterial solutions.

Dr Laub dropped by and asked how I was doing and did I have any reservations about going through with the operation. I lied through my teeth and said everything was fine.  I didn’t tell him that if I went ahead with the operation my parents were going to completely disown me.

I remembered the Serenity Prayer poster and the idea of doing what I had to do.

By the time evening rolled around I was drained and a little scared.  I wanted the result and yet I hated the whole process.

I felt like a piece of meat being put through some sort of ritual but I knew in my heart I had to do what I was doing.

They gave me a sleeping pill but I still had a hard time sleeping.

I just wanted to be over and done with the whole process.

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